Windows 11 update settings

Windows 11 will finally install updates without force reboot

Soon, you will no longer have to restart your computer every month to install security updates on Windows 11.

  • The operating system is getting a new feature to install security updates without reboot.
  • The update mechanism is known as “hot patching,” the company already uses it on other platforms.
  • Microsoft is testing the feature in the Dev Channel, and it’s expected to arrive with version 24H2.

Microsoft is reportedly adding a new “hot patching” update mechanism to Windows 11 to eliminate the need to force reboot the computer on every security update.

One of the most frustrating aspects of the operating system (other than bugs and incomplete features) is having to restart the computer after installing a system update, which naturally breaks the workflow of any activity.

Also, even though Windows 11 implements the Active Hours feature to prevent sudden reboots as you are actively using the computer, sometimes it can be frustrating when the device restarts automatically at night, which can cause the loss of any unsaved work. (Luckily, Notepad now saves changes automatically.)

According to a new report from Windows Central, Microsoft is currently testing the “hot patching” update method, which the company already uses on Windows Server and Xbox devices, and now, it seems that the feature is coming to Windows 11 24H2.

The new update mechanism is already available in the latest preview build available through the Dev Channel. In the official changes for February 22, 2024, Microsoft noted that devices with “Virtualization Based Security (VBS) turned on will receive Build 26058.1400 (KB5036080) and may not experience a restart upon installing the update.”

The hot patching process works by patching the code of running processes in memory, avoiding the need to restart the process and thereby ensuring higher availability and reducing disruptions.

As I understand it, the company plans to use this method to deploy the monthly security update without requiring a restart to apply the changes. The only caveat is that this doesn’t mean that Microsoft will eliminate reboots completely since “hot patching” requires a baseline update that continues to mandate a restart every several months.

In other words, after upgrading to version 24H2, you will have to restart the computer only a few times a year. The report also points out that the updates that will require a reboot will be those available during January, April, July, and October.

Also, remember that the “hot patching” method is for security updates. It doesn’t include critical or feature updates.

Microsoft is expected to roll out the hot patching update mechanism during the second half of 2024 as part of Windows 11 24H2 for x86 processors. ARM-based devices are also expected to include this feature, but it will happen sometime in 2025.

In the meantime, you can minimize reboots in at least two ways. You can pause updates and configure Active Hours through the “Windows Update” settings.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].